SIX PACK

In a perfect world, the Edmonton Oilers could improve their team at a giant shopping center where the items and prices are clearly marked. Aisle one, goalies, aisle two, defensemen—Oilers would be there for some time—but it doesn’t work that way.

This morning, Nielson and Fraser invited me on to the TSN1260 morning show and tasked me with the following: Improve the Oilers with five moves. I cheated a little, came up short anyway, but had a lot of fun. The results are below. (Note: I was going to post Dusty and Wil’s list, but forgot to photo them. Will add later, and I thank them for the opportunity—and listeners for the input!).

LOWETIDE SUMMER (YOU HATE IT. BELIEVE ME)

  1. Trade Nail Yakupov to the NJD for D Damon Severson. Lots of pushback on this deal, and if a slight sweetener is required we can talk. That said, Yakupov has value and I would think PC could make something work here. Severson had his issues, but I do believe this is the last summer to get him.
  2. Sign Jason Demers to a Sekera-style deal, five times $5.0M. I think that could get him, but if more is required then sign me up. There are two things that make me believe Demers is the best bet: He is a bona fide top 4D who can play tough minutes—and he costs only money. Dangerous thing to throw around, but the Oilers need actual NHL players without giving anyone up. Having Demers and keeping the Nuge while doing it makes this move necessary.
  3. Sign Jhonas Enroth to a two-year deal, $1.75M. Cam Talbot is the No. 1 goalie, but we also have to be mindful of slow starts that have blown away seasons in the past several Edmonton falls. A player like Enroth offers cover, and if Laurent Brossoit emerges bona fide, should be relatively easy to deal at the deadline.
  4. Trade Mark Fayne to Toronto for Tyler Bozak. My least favorite deal, and many have let me know the Leafs would never make this trade. Looking at their depth chart, where C should be better and RHD is not strong, I wonder. Perhaps a sweetener is required, but I would gladly keep Fayne on the roster (as you know, this blog is pro-Fayne. Heh). I make the trade because Bozak is important, he allows movement around the roster and can help in the dot and in all three game states.
  5. Buyout Lauri Korpiski, costs $500,000 in 2016-17, more in 2017-18 via GeneralFanager. Feels so good.
  6. Sign RW Teddy Purcell to a one-year $3M deal. I can be talked out of Purcell (Parenteau, Stempniak) but really like the idea of having an actual plug-and-play option. He is skilled, a veteran and may accept a one-year deal. He would fit right in. Again.

The signings are all for one or two years save Demers, and the trades save some dollars overall and do not sacrifice term.

LOWETIDE SUMMER—ROSTER

LOWETIDE SUMMER

I didn’t get it all done, and question some of the moves (could have gone with a less expensive RW than Purcell, allowing for an onloading of a Leddy-Boychuk blue late in the offseason) but there is a lot of balance and depth here. I accomplished:

  • Depth in goal—real depth, I think. If Talbot is struggling in October, no one can question Enroth’s qualifications.
  • Upgrade on RHD—done without disturbing the forwards or the draft. Demers and Severson are good bets for this season, and could be productive NHL players five years from now. I understand the appeal of getting a stud RHD, but the cost is too extreme.
  • Improved the forwards—and they are already good. There are all kinds of possibilities. If you don’t like Leon on RW, move him to C and he can play with veterans like Benoit Pouliot, Tyler Bozak, Teddy Purcell and Zack Kassian. Injuries? This roster has enough depth to overcome some injuries. Seriously.

The center depth is retained and possibly improved, although your mileage may vary. Before you tell me Draisaitl on RW won’t work, take a boo at what happened when Hall, RNH and Leon took the stage together. Fire.

This is not a group of sexy adds—you are not getting a stud defenseman with a monster point shot—but there is balance and there is depth. Best of all? Nuge, Hall, Eberle, Pouliot, No. 4 overall. All still here.

We all love redemption stories and this is a player who performed well early—then faded—but he could help. I like him in a 4line role, moving up to 3line with slumps and injuries. Your mileage may vary, but if we look at 2015-16 5×5 points-per-60 for the group on RW I have on my team:

  1. Leon Draisaitl 2.20
  2. Jordan Eberle 1.85
  3. Teddy Purcell 1.73
  4. Iiro Pakarinen 1.16
  5. Zack Kassian 1.13

GRIT, DAMMIT!

By far the most feedback I received today revolved around grit. Apparently the expectation is that Peter Chiarelli is going to add King Kong this summer. If you look at my roster above, there is:

  • Plenty of size and rugged play up front. Patrick Maroon is beloved in this city because of it, Benoit Pouliot is an effective big body, Matt Hendricks is a tough hombre.
  • Zack Kassian, signed today, gives Edmonton a true agitator and Iiro Pakarinen also helps the cause.
  • Darnell Nurse is the personification of rugged play and a game rooster in the fighting department.

There is grit in free agency, I could have used the Purcell money on a tougher winger. I chose not to, because—and this is sincere—it is my belief that Purcell will do more to help the Oilers win than another J-F Jacques in the lineup. Get good players, keep good players. The roster above has a bunch of them.

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76 Responses to "SIX PACK"

  1. fifthcartel says:

    I’m amazed people watch the Oilers and the first thing that comes to mind is that they need ‘grit’, and not puck moving defensemen and useful bottom-six forwards.

  2. Lowetide says:

    fifthcartel:
    I’m amazed people watch the Oilers and the first thing that comes to mind is that they need ‘grit’, and not puck moving defensemen and useful bottom-six forwards.

    True. If I had a seventh move, it would be to acquire someone like Anthony DeAngelo, the RHD for the Lightning (in their system). Put him with Davidson on third pair. Grit takes a beating with Nurse in Bakersfield but the overall feel of the roster is imo better (DeAngelo might be that PP QB Edmonton needs).

  3. OF17 says:

    I know I don’t need to tell you this LT, but that roster looks a lot better with Fayne on it and a pick sent for Bozak. The beauty of Severson is that he should be able to outperform a bottom pair role. I’m not too comfortable slotting him in in a top-4 role.

  4. fifthcartel says:

    Lowetide,

    I agree, and I think he might be available. He had some healthy scratches in the minors and there was some rumours around him around the trade deadline.

    I don’t know why some are up in arms about Severson. He seems like the ideal buy low candidate with Hynes not being the biggest fan.

  5. Ducey says:

    I like it.

    Although I would not trade Fayne and would sign Gyrba to be 7th D. That would put Nurse/ Oesterle/ Reinhart on the farm.

    I would have Hall – Leon – Purcell and find a RW dance partner for Pou – Nuge. Someone with a few miles left on the odometer, some hands and some grit: Troy Brouwer.

  6. Kepler62 says:

    Although I’d prefer Justin Faulk over Damon Severson – I have to say I’d give Chia an A if he did all this over the summer.

    Defence by committee can work and Klefbom might be the stud everyone is looking for on the top pair – we just don’t have enough games from him to tell.

  7. Big Dan says:

    Demers will have no shortage of suitors. I can’t see why in the world he would come to Edmonton. But alas, we got sekera so maybe chiarelli is a good convincer.

    Regardless, if sakic is stupid enough to trade Tyson Barrie for the nuge, you don’t hesitate. We could get a plausible replacement to fill nuge’s spot. But Barrie is one of the best 5 puckmovers in the nhl.

    If demers doesn’t show interest, the deal is there to deal pouliot and yakupov to Anaheim for vatanen and pirri.

    I like the yak for severson idea. But fayne concerns me. Does nj make mediocre dmen look better than they are? the bozak idea leaves me scratching my head. Bozak is a very good forward. Why would to deal him for a guy we can’t give away?

    I like the idea of keeping Reinhart (future coburn) and nurse (a future 2nd pairing beast). Their mentor Davidson can move to the right side. And klefbom’s health is concerning- we need insurance. A little more ahl time won’t hurt either of them. They both are headed for solid careers, although we may lose grif to Las Vegas. Cest la vie. Dillon Simpson will be ready a year from now. Perhaps chiarelli can pump and dump him at the deadline for close to what we paid(a late 1st rounder at least), or he’d be ok losing Reinhart (since lhd is where we have the most depth).

    I can’t see chiarelli trading nurse and draisaiti, he loves toughness. And Reinhart has no trade value despite being impressive late in the season, so he will be back.

  8. Younger Oil says:

    That bottom 6 is mighty expensive is my main issue with that plan.

    Personally, I think a RW depth of Ebs-Drai-Pak-Kassian is sufficient without the addition of Purcell. If we have $3M left in the cap, why not, but I think it can be spent in better places.

    I really don’t think we can afford to take back salary in a Fayne trade either. I wonder if he’d have any value to a team with 50% salary retained. Maybe Fayne at 50% and a pick to the Devils for Severson could be done since they liked Fayne in the past and apparently don’t like Severson now. Then, Yak could be dealt for picks that can then be dealt for a player like Shaw, or something along those lines.

    If we think Dubois could jump into the NHL right away, a Pouliot deal for Vatanen could also be really beneficial in my opinion.

    Maroon-McDavid-Eberle ($12.25M)
    Hall-Nuge-Drai ($15.4M)
    Dubois-Shaw-Pak (~$8M)
    Hendricks-Letestu-Kassian ($5.15M)
    Khaira-Lander

    Klefbom-Demers (~$9.5M)
    Sekera-Vatanen (~$9.5M)
    Davidson-Severson ($1.8M)
    Oesterle

    Talbot-Enroth (~6M)

    With $2.2 retained for Fayne and Korpse adds up to around $70M, which would probably be an ideal lineup for me. Winger depth is a bit of a worry, unless Caguila and Slepyshev are ready to jump in.

    Definitely not going to happen, but that would be the summer that would make me the happiest.

  9. knighttown says:

    Who are these people that are suggesting grit or size? I watched Letang get run and Thought to myself, someone is going to kill Callahan. Then I thought of the Pens roster and realized that there’s no one even remotely tough on that roster and the idea of retribution went away. Because the Pens media aren’t rabid animals they were more worried about winning hockey games than proving some point and so the Pens look like they are now going to waltz thorough to the Finals.

    Their toughest player is probably Letang. I even looked for the token tough DMan in the Orpik mould but they don’t even have one of those. Ben Lovejoy I sort of remembered as being tough but he had 30 minutes in penalties this season. They’re also tiny with only Eric Fehr over 210 pounds (212).

    Maroon is 230. Cracknell 210. Pakarinen 215. Hendricks 207 but tough. Drai 214. Kassian 217. Pardy 227. Gryba 228. Klefbom 215. Nikitin 217. Davidson 210.

    That’s 11 guys as big or bigger than the Penguins biggest guy and all are way tougher than the Pens toughest (who would that even be that would defend Letang?).

    Looking for a trend?

    Defense that can fly. Daley and Letang are top 10 NHL skaters. Maata, Dumoulin, Pouliot, Cole and yes Justin Schultz would all have the adjective “mobile” somewhere in their first paragraph.

    In theory they’d get pounded into submission by the Kings and teams of that ilk but not if the puck is out before the forechecking gets there.

  10. GCW_69 says:

    I generally like the moves.

    The defence is still a bit thin but working with those limitations you did well.

    I would definitely sign Stempniak or Parenteau for the third right wing over Purcell. Given who you want to play him with, Parenteau is a better fit. Parenteau is also a good second pp unit guy. I think both would be cheaper and that extra cap space might be needed if there is a significant injury with the defence.

    Damn it Chiarelli, git ‘er dun…

  11. DBO says:

    Do our years of suck make us miss the internal improvement we should see? A healthy roster, another year of growth for McDavid, Nurse, Davidson, Eberle, Hall, Nuge, Draisatl, Yak even. I realize we are jaded, untrusting and afraid to hope for good things, but if you look at our roster, it screams turn around without massive player movement.

    – McDavid will be better, he is aleady a top 10 player.
    – Yak improved, and I still want him back if only to pump and dump on McDavid’s line. Adding a vet on a value deal would also work (Purcell, Stempniak type)
    – 3 healthy top end centres to start the year.
    – Hall continues to improve his all around game, Eberle was never fully healthy, and Pouliot was missed more then we realize.
    – Addition by subtraction. Our Defense was better pretty much every game Schultz was not on the ice. Add in a year older Nurse, a fully healthy Davidson and Klefbom, and Sekera-Fayne as a solid 3-4 pairing (which they were, especially if we get them cover with another real d pairing).

    Maybe I am start gazing and blind, but if we added only:
    – top 4 RD (Demers)
    – complimentary top 9 RW (Purell, Stempniak)
    – Back up goalie with experience (Enroth, etc.)
    – Buyout Korpikoski (another addition by subtraction)
    – Vet 6-7 dman with some offense for depth.

    Are we not close to a playoff team with all of the moves we made throughout the year along with our youth improving and smart additions to shore up our team?

    Hall-Draisatl-Stempniak
    Maroon-McDavid-Yak
    Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle
    Hendricks-Letestu-Kassian
    Lander-Pakarinen

    Kelfbom-Demers
    Sekera-Fayne
    Nurse-Davidson
    Gryba

    Talbot
    Enroth

  12. Centre of attention says:

    Kepler62:
    Although I’d prefer Justin Faulk over Damon Severson

    We would all rather have a Lambo over a Honda wouldn’t we?

    Beggars can’t be choosers, or so the saying goes. And the Oilers will be begging for defense this summer.

    My one blue-sky hope/wish is that I think Vatanen could be added while keeping the Hall/McDavid clusters both intact. I would definitely have Vatanen over Severson in a perfect world, but it is not a guarantee that we land either player.

    Honestly I would not be shocked if all they get this summer is Demers. Seriously, its probably a good idea if everyone lowers their expectations.

  13. theDjdj says:

    I can’t help but think that this constant worry about Klefbom being injury-prone is a gamblers fallacy.

    If he were constantly re-injuring the same ailment, or his playing style lead to a string of injuries (a la Taylor Hall before this season) I would be worried.

    But his injuries have all been freak non-sequiturs. The clumping of injuries can been attributed to bad luck only. I’m not arguing against depth. However I feel we as Oilers fans have enough to worry about than to furrow our brows over something that has no reasonable likeliness of recurring.

  14. Mr DeBakey says:

    That’s a good series of moves. [Except you forgot to add Oliver Eckman-Larsson. You’re fired!]

    I’m not sure of the why of the Bozak – Fayne deal. If the plan is to unicorn other teams to death, the answer is McDavid, Nugent & Draisatl.
    * * * * *

    David Perron is a right-shooting UFA.

  15. Water Fire says:

    Offensive wingers are needed but for me it’s a guy that doesn’t give up so much.

    The vets need to shelter the young guys, Teddy is an opportunist. He loses too many battles and fails D zone.

    The answer is a vet with O but also a solid player.

    Only players like Kessel get a pass for me, top end dangerous scorers. Everyone else needs the whole game.

  16. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I was watching a play-by-play tape of Kassian’s 1st game as an oiler on youtube. Watched Purcell make a ton of smart plays with the puck, I have time for him all day. Hall-Drai-Purcell was a strong line

  17. Ryan says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    I was watching a play-by-play tape of Kassian’s 1st game as an oiler on youtube. Watched Purcell make a ton of smart plays with the puck, I have time for him all day. Hall-Drai-Purcell was a strong line

    Hall and Drai both slumped at some point around the Purcell trade.

    Does anyone have the data on when this slump happened?

  18. theDjdj says:

    Also, watching these playoff series has really hammered home the importance of scoring depth. Look at the emergence of the HBK line for Penguins as a prime example. Or Couture for the Sharks. I don’t think its a sustainable strategy to put all our chips on two lines. We trade away our centre depth at our own peril.

    If I were Demers I’d sign here. Massive incredible new stadium. Best player in the league. Young team with incredible world beating potential. Experienced FOH. Experienced, well regarded coach. Good chance of playing in the coveted top line. What more do you want?

    I don’t think we’re quite the gulags we were even last year. Two major FA signing here is a good indication of that.

    I’d be happy with just Demers signing. Keep our major assets and develop (or trade low and develop) the other holes on the blue. That’s how nearly every other play off team has achieved success. Stealing from Peter to pay Paul is not going to make us any better as a team.

  19. Ryan says:

    theDjdj,

    What about Tyler Pitlick?

  20. John Chambers says:

    Ryan,

    Hall and Drai were already slumping when Ted got traded. In roughly their last 10 games together they weren’t finding the magic, but perhaps there were injuries playing a part.

  21. John Chambers says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    David Perron shoots left but plays on his off-wing.

    He’s a good 2-way winger with scoring touch in the heart of his career. I bet he gets a contract similar to Pouliot at ~$4M over 4 or 5 years.

  22. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great post LT: I think you are out to lunch with your hunch!

    This will be a wonderful post to refer back to:

    – One of the Steve Austins is gone

    – Its not a softy Purcell winger they are bringing in either

    – It’s a Kevan Miller type, not a Sverson for more tough to play against D

    – Bozak makes no sense: soft, unreliable

    – Unless they can get rid of Korp a buyout isn’t warranted

    – Suspect Pou is vulnerable as trade-bait. Lander as a throw-in in a trade as well

    – Yes for Yak (sad), back-up G, a FA D

    This team is going to be harder to play against: your suggestions are skewed towards soft skill.

    – There will be a big boom/trade this summer (and MacT and Howson exit stage left). Not tinkering

  23. square_wheels says:

    $35 and a six pack to my name – SIX PACK

    With the lovely and uber talented Kira Roessler on bass – https://youtu.be/XhzsNuF8Ubo

  24. John Chambers says:

    Respectfully to Mr Mitchell and others, I think we’re spinning our tires if Demers is the main acquisition on D. I see him being a useful addition to the 2nd pairing – like an improved Mark Fayne, but not a guy who can shut down the oppositions big guns and certainly not an offensive threat.

    There isn’t a defenseman on the Oilers who you think- that guy will easily put up 0.5 ppg and can quarterback a powerplay. We need that player or players.

    It may come in the form of one guy like Faulk or Subban (likely not) who can eat up 25 mins and score 15 goals, or it may be one guy like Demers whose craft is defense and Barrie or Vatanen whose calling cards are offence.

    Demers is a 25-30 pt guy while Severson scored one goal last year. Not nearly enough ability to skate the puck out of the zone, drive the rush, or QB the powerplay added.

  25. square_wheels says:

    John Chambers,

    Which Oilers, and in subsequent stops in Pitt and Ana did he have the most success ?

    He had some great moments here, but has always been streaky.

    Love his assholishness though, can never have enough of that.

  26. John Chambers says:

    kinger_OIL,

    Agree that I doubt they trim around the edges and plan to rely on free agency to fix problems. As Chiarelli said in his presser they’ll exchange offence for defensemen of substantial talent.

  27. dustrock says:

    LT I give you 5/5 for that. I’d drive Yakupov to the airport for Severson. Demers I’m still mad about the Sharks trading him.

    Your moves don’t even factor in the 4th pick.

    I still keep dreaming about Subban and McDavid playing together, damn the $9m torpedoes, full speed ahead.
    . But Year 2 of McDavid and McLellan with this lineup (barring injuries) and the Oilers make the playoffs.

  28. dustrock says:

    http://ohlprospects.blogspot.ca/2016/05/my-final-top-50-ohl-players-for-2016.html?m=1

    Brock’s list (top 10 tomorrow).

    I like Givani Smith, Katchouk, Mascherin and Kyrou.

  29. Ryan says:

    Centre of attention: We would all rather have a Lambo over a Honda wouldn’t we?

    Beggars can’t be choosers, or so the saying goes. And the Oilers will be begging for defense this summer.

    My one blue-sky hope/wish is that I thinkVatanen could be added while keeping the Hall/McDavid clusters both intact. I would definitely have Vatanen over Severson in a perfect world, but it is not a guarantee that we land either player.

    Honestly I would not be shocked if all they get this summer is Demers. Seriously, its probably a good idea if everyone lowers their expectations.

    Seriously. Prepared to be underwhelmed folks.

    (Blue line deals only)

    Best case scenario (blue line) maybe there’s a blockbuster trade of Nuge for Faulk… Then not much else other than sign a Gryba or type…

    Most likely scenario… Throw Sekera money at Demers or a trade for Vatanen then not much else.

    Worst case scenario… Hm. This is the tough one. Impossible actually.

    Demers re-signs in Dallas or something. No Faulk trade. Sign Russel? Retirement contract for Yandle? Take your pick.

  30. theDjdj says:

    Ryan,

    What about him? In regards to being injury-prone? I can’t honestly comment on that. I’ve not watched a significant amount of his games to say whether he plays in a manner that would sacrifice his health. I can say that a lacerated spleen is not what you would call a typical hockey injury.

  31. square_wheels says:

    Ryan,

    Anything Russel is a firm no.

    As firm as a super models response to my request to dance.

    Even firmer than my willingness to not cheer for anything Calgary sports team, even though I live here.

  32. Centre of attention says:

    Anyone else hearing the cast call them “DawnSky and Wiggles” instead of “Donskoi and Wingles” it is seriously cracking me up.

    Now that I think of it, that’s what I am calling them from now on. DawnSky and Wiggles. LMFAO I love it.

  33. Gerta Rauss says:

    I like the lineup LT

    We can nitpick about each move but the overall strategy- keep the bulk of the forward core intact and add incrementally to the areas of need-seems to be the most reasonable path forward

    I was convinced last summer that it was imperative we trade from the forward core to upgrade our D, but I’ve be more open as of late(ie:after the Hamonic news) that a couple of smaller deals and strategic UFA signings may be better.

  34. Gerta Rauss says:

    John Chambers: David Perron shoots left but plays on his off-wing.

    Pretty sure Perron shoots right

    You are correct about the off wing, but I think he can play RW as well

    I’d take any of Purcell, Perron, Stempniak (ie: vet forward that can contribute a little offense while not bleeding defensively) but for me this is a late summer short term deal

  35. DBO says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    agreed. Like Sekera, Demers may not be the higher end dman , but he would instantly become one of our top 3 dmen who can play in all situations. All around solid, real, NHL defenseman. Two real D pairs who can play in all situations would make the biggest difference on our roster of any move we can make this off season.

    Been thinking about best way to figure out where to spend our money, and does anyone know if the NHL has a similar stat like WAR from baseball (ii think that is the acronym). Basically, the projected improvement over the replacement for a player. Because I have to think Demers replacing our #6 dman (which he would essentially be doing if Fayne is our 2RD like the end of the year and Davidson slides over as 3RD), and moving everyone down a rung on RD for where they play in the lineup would be a huge improvement if that was the only thing we did.

  36. godot10 says:

    Like with his draft list, IMHO, Lowetide shows his bias for forwards over defensemen. Too much money for forwards, and not enough done to fix the blueline. The existing bottom six will be better with a competent defense.

    The Oilers are not going to get better without fixing the blueline.

    Demers and Severson is not enough, IMHO.

    One of Vatanen or Barrie, and one other guy, where the default last choice on July 1 is Demers.

  37. Soup Fascist says:

    godot10:
    Like with his draft list, IMHO, Lowetide shows his bias for forwards over defensemen.Too much money for forwards, and not enough done to fix the blueline.The existing bottom six will be better with a competent defense.

    The Oilers are not going to get better without fixing the blueline.

    Demers and Severson is not enough, IMHO.

    One of Vatanen or Barrie, and one other guy, where the default last choice on July 1 is Demers.

    Not sure not taking a D with a high draft pick – when there is no consensus slam dunk D – is a bias.

    Many would say that is good drafting. The development model for a young defenceman is so much different and more circuitous than a forward. A lot more high draft misses on the blue line than forwards. If there is an impact forward and what might be an impact D – a forward is the prudent choice.

    Especially given this organization’s relative ineffectiveness of developing “D”. But that is a WHOLE other issue.

  38. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    OT:
    Interesting article

    “Poor drafting has been holding Bruins back”

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/bruins/2016/05/19/poor-drafting-has-been-holding-bruins-back/JYTQ4H1CdsZDS3dXlUmUWI/story.html

    This is an interesting article. I have to say that the Bruins brass seemed to be fixating on Chiarelli well into the season, but that article does contain a quote that suggests they have moved on

    “For a number of years, we did a pretty good job of identifying players from other teams, and we were able to cultivate a pretty good group,” Sweeney said. “Peter deserves a tremendous amount of credit for it.”

  39. JimmyV1965 says:

    knighttown: depth).

    I don’t know how the Pens are getting it done because other than Letang that defence is hot garbage.

  40. Rondo says:

    Lowetide,

    I wished they would have moved on enough to trade Hamilton to Edmonton.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    Lowetide,

    I wished they would have moved on enough to trade Hamilton to Edmonton.

    True. I wish that, too.

  42. JimmyV1965 says:

    In some ways I think it’s unfair to suggest that PC simply tinker with the roster. If he only makes minor changes, and the team gets off to a horrible start, this whole town will be calling for his head. At the very least, we need a pick-moving dman to quarterback the PP and guys like Demers and Sverson simply don’t get it done.

  43. AsiaOil says:

    5 moves – hell I only need 4

    Trade #1 – RNH to NASH for Ellis and Smith. RHRW and RHD issues are solved.
    Trade #2 – Eberle, Fayne and #4 to NJD for RHD Larsson (yeah it’s an overpay – so what top pair RHD fixed)
    Trade #3 – Yak to TBL for C Vlad Namestnikov
    Sign UFA RW Loui Eriksson

    Hall CMD Smith
    Pou Drai Eriksson
    Maroon Namstnekov Kassian
    Hendricks Testube/Lander Pak

    Klef Larsson
    Sekera Ellis
    Davidson Gryba/Oestele

  44. Ryan says:

    square_wheels:
    Ryan,

    Anything Russel is a firm no.

    As firm as a super models response to my request to dance.

    Even firmer than my willingness to not cheer for anything Calgary sports team, even though I live here.

    Oh, I don’t want him either.

    I was trying to suggest worst case scenarios.

  45. highgloveside says:

    $5 mill to much for Demers who is really a good second pairing guy, this will give them cap headaches down the road when trying to add a PP QB. If we already had a true #1, then Demers at $5 is fine, but we don’t and Sekera and Demers eating $10.5 is too much for a #3 and #4 skill level dman.

    Purcell’s talent is fine, but too soft. Add $1 mill and sign Brouwer.

    Way too much for Enroth. I don’t like that he is 5’10”, I dont think that will translate well with smaller equipment next year.

    Fayne + a little for Bozak, gimmie that all day long. Bozak would be a great 3C, offence, size, PK and PP

    Would take Sevenson for Yak too, that works.

    My main problem is that basically other than Bozak, the Oilers still are the same style of team and I do not think PC would want that.

    Second problem is the defense still won’t efficiently get the forwards the puck, that is wasting McDavid and the offensive talent of the team. The PP won’t succeed with zero threat from the point.

    Lastly, trying to greatly improve this team without moving a top 6 forward (including Pouliot) isn’t gonna happen. Sure Demers only costs money but true improvement comes from replacing a player or 2 with someone who is a better fit.

  46. Ryan says:

    theDjdj:
    Ryan,

    What about him? In regards to being injury-prone? I can’t honestly comment on that. I’ve not watched a significant amount of his games to say whether he plays in a manner that would sacrifice his health. I can say that a lacerated spleen is not what you would call a typical hockey injury.

    My point was that Pitlick has been unfortunate and has been afflicted with any manor of injuries.

    Some players for whatever reason are born under a bad sign, injury-prone, unlucky, made of glass, whatever…

    We’d all love a healthy Klefbomb, but he hasn’t had a salubrious record.

  47. Ryan says:

    I worry that if the Sharks win the cup, Mclellan will get (unfairly) tagged as the guy who held them back all of these years. Hopefully, it’s an irrational fear.

  48. Lowetide says:

    Ryan:
    I worry that if the Sharks win the cup, Mclellan will get tagged as the guy who held them back all of these years.Hopefully, it’s an irrational fear.

    McLellan took them deep three times, and the LAK loss came after their best defenseman was hurt. Sharks are healthy, have better depth and their goalie is playing very well. I give full credit to the coach, but I dont think that means McLellan was the problem.

    Now, McLellan not pulling back Nurse when he was struggling, or playing the heck out of Korpikoski, well, those are things that do concern me.

  49. Centre of attention says:

    godot10,

    I don’t think LT is averse to adding a Vatanen or Barrie, but I do think that LT is trying to lower expectations.

    If there is anything being an Oilers fan during these dark years has taught me, expect a lesser result and you are usually pleased.

    Demers is not an afterthought. He is a legit top 4 western conference D. I don’t understand what you’re getting at with the “last resort” angle.

    As for drafting bias, its pretty common opinion to take the forward especially in the top 5. Unless Victor Hedman is on the board, you don’t take that risk.

    My 2 cents.

  50. Centre of attention says:

    Ryan,

    Give McLellan his old team + Ward, Jones and Martin and they would have the same success as this year. Especially because they had Vlasic this year and LA didn’t have Voynov. The power shifted at the same time as the coaching staff, convenient for Deboer but not a knock on Todd at all.

  51. Soup Fascist says:

    Don’t look now, but the Blues may be looking at adding some players that can put the puck in the net next year after putting up bagels for the last 7 1/2 periods ….. and counting.

    Sharks are playing out of their minds but the ‘Notes have one – maybe two – natural scorers and crazy defensive depth. Brings other names into play if they don’t figure it out quick.

  52. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: McLellan took them deep three times, and the LAK loss came after their best defenseman was hurt. Sharks are healthy, have better depth and their goalie is playing very well. I give full credit to the coach, but I dont think that means McLellan was the problem.

    Now, McLellan not pulling back Nurse when he was struggling, or playing the heck out of Korpikoski, well, those are things that do concern me.

    I edited my previous comment for clarity, Allan, I don’t think that he was the problem either.

    I used to watch the Mclellan Sharks and marvel at what a well-coached team they looked like.

    The Mclellan Oilers, well, not so much. I guess it’s a reflection of a poorly constructed roster, AHL quality blue line, and years of damage.

    Some of my favorite articles at MC79hockey, were the one about the Sharks. Reading Tyler unravel and marvel at the effectiveness of Mclellan’s set plays (at stealing corgis or shots per hour on the PP) was a thing of beauty.

  53. Caramel Batman says:

    McClellan played Burns at forward. That has to be held against him.

    DeBoer is an excellent coach with a great record. That he’s better than McClellan doesn’t mean that McClellan is bad. It means that McClellan isn’t the deity we would like him to be.

  54. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: I edited my previous comment for clarity, Allan,I don’t think that he was the problem either.

    I used to watch the Mclellan Sharks and marvel at what a well-coached team they looked like.

    The Mclellan Oilers, well, not so much.I guess it’s a reflection of a poorly constructed roster, AHL quality blue line, and years of damage.

    Some of my favorite articles at MC79hockey, were the one about the Sharks.Reading Tyler unravel and marvel at the effectiveness of Mclellan’s set plays (at stealing corgis or shots per hour on the PP) was a thing of beauty.

    Yeah. Lol. I think being an Oilers fan means seeing patterns emerge before they are patterns or at least in real time. We live in a world in which anvils rain down upon us, no wonder there are some moments when we question things. 🙂

  55. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: Yeah. Lol. I think being an Oilers fan means seeing patterns emerge before they are patterns or at least in real time. We live in a world in which anvils rain down upon us, no wonder there are some moments when we question things.

    That’s a very eloquent way of describing the phenomenon of hypervigilance. 🙂

    As Oilers fans, we all share some form of the sports fan version of PTSD. Except, you’re the one keeping us sane.

  56. JimmyV1965 says:

    AsiaOil:
    5 moves – hell I only need 4

    Trade #1 – RNH to NASH for Ellis and Smith. RHRW and RHD issues are solved.
    Trade #2 – Eberle, Fayne and #4 to NJD for RHD Larsson (yeah it’s an overpay – so what top pair RHD fixed)
    Trade #3 – Yak to TBL for C Vlad Namestnikov
    Sign UFA RW Loui Eriksson

    Hall CMD Smith
    Pou Drai Eriksson
    Maroon Namstnekov Kassian
    Hendricks Testube/Lander Pak

    Klef Larsson
    Sekera Ellis
    Davidson Gryba/Oestele

    I actually really like that and those teams might even make those deals. One thing that worries me is 2C. Absolutely don’t think we can slot in Drai. He needs to be sheltered.

  57. Johnny skid says:

    Caramel Batman: DeBoer is an excellent coach with a great record. That he’s better than McClellan doesn’t mean that McClellan is bad. It means that McClellan isn’t the deity we would like him to be.

    i agree…. DeBoer is full value for the success of the sharks and i hope he takes them all the way to the cup.

  58. dustrock says:

    Caramel Batman:
    McClellan played Burns at forward.That has to be held against him.

    DeBoer is an excellent coach with a great record.That he’s better than McClellan doesn’t mean that McClellan is bad.It means that McClellan isn’t the deity we would like him to be.

    Burns was a human wrecking ball at forward. Please.

    Playoffs is so luck based it’s not even funny. How many goalposts has Brouwer hit the last couple of games?

    Plus, the 2 times the Sharks went to the Conference Finals they lost to a Hawks team with maybe the most stacked lineup since the 80s Oilers and the Nucks who lost in 7 games to the Bruins and won the President’s Trophy that year.

  59. Mr DeBakey says:

    Centre of attention: Demers is not an afterthought. He is a legit top 4 western conference D. I don’t understand what you’re getting at with the “last resort” angle.

    That’s a timeline reference.
    There is lots of movement around the draft, later not so much.
    The theory is to get it done by the end of June, but if it isn’t, chase Demers.

  60. godot10 says:

    Soup Fascist:
    Don’t look now, but the Blues may be looking at adding some players that can put the puck in the net next year after putting up bagels for the last 7 1/2 periods ….. and counting.

    Sharks are playing out of their minds but the ‘Notes have one – maybe two – natural scorers and crazy defensive depth. Brings other names into play if they don’t figure it out quick.

    St. Louis has more than enough scoring, but Hitchcock makes them play dump and chase rather than letting them do much rush attacking, which suppresses their offense.

    Whereas, Deboer has San Jose playing off the rush more than dump-and-chase like McLellan did.

    Aside: Arguably, the main reason Wilson traded Demers was to force McLellan to play Burns on defense.

    Aside #2: I really want one of Faulk, or Vatanen, or Barrie, so McLellan has no excuse for a poor power play.

  61. Lowetide says:

    We are back! WordPress took a bit of a detour but all is well I believe.

  62. BONE207 says:

    LT…you have the job. See Pete in the morning to pick out your office furniture in Roger’s Place and which office. Sorry…no corner offices.

    What, you haven’t done these changes yet? We’ll, uh…need that key back. See me when you’ve got the contracts signed.

  63. Lowetide says:

    BONE207:
    LT…you have the job. See Pete in the morning to pick out your office furniture in Roger’s Place and which office. Sorry…no corner offices.

    Haha. One of the things I really look forward to is a summer with a veteran GM at the helm. I would sign Marc Pouliot and you all would be renting that damn sign on the back of a trailer for Kingsway!

  64. BONE207 says:

    Lowetide: Haha. One of the things I really look forward to is a summer with a veteran GM at the helm. I would sign Marc Pouliot and you all would be renting that damn sign on the back of a trailer for Kingsway!

    Geez, I can’t wait. I need July and August to focus on potential Stanley Cup parade routes from City Hall to Rogers. That is of course we see some of these results come to fruition in early July. Hey we could load the LRT…that line runs so slow anyway…

  65. Alpine says:

    Smart devils fans on twitter and on In Lou We Trust despised DeBoer and couldn’t wait to dump him. Smart Sharks fans like The Neutral who writes for Fear the Fin were positive about McLellan.

  66. G Money says:

    Lowetide,

    Phew. I’m in the middle of setting up my brand new powerhouse ass-hauling statsing machine, and I kept getting mystery errors trying to connect to Lowetide.

    Luckily I was troubleshooting f**king printer and monitor drivers or I would have wasted a ton of time troubleshooting the inability to log in too!

    Speaking of new machines:

    http://i.imgur.com/crfkpHI.png

    Yes, due to its ass hauling nature, the new machine is indeed named Taylor Haul.

  67. theDjdj says:

    Ryan,

    That’s my point really. That constant injuries are not indicative of a trend unless:

    the player is constantly reinjuring the same ailment or,

    the player has a playing style that throws caution to the wind resulting in constant injuries

    I know us hockey fans are superstitious lot but thinking a player is cursed with bad luck is a bit 16th century

  68. theDjdj says:

    G Money,

    I had the same problem, Lowetide. 503 error when trying to log on. Site also wouldn’t load on a browser that had the site cookie installed.

  69. theDjdj says:

    godot10,

    And what do we do when we send out all our forward depth to make our defense better? When we lack depth scoring and overwork our young centres?

    In my mind players have two values. Value to the team and value on the market. The value of a player on the market isn’t 1 to 1 reflection of what he adds to his club.

    The current trade market places a higher value on defensemen. It’s basic supply and demand, Dmen take forever to develop. So every time we go out to the market to find defensemen we overpay. As in we give up a player (or players) that contribute more value to the team than what we get in return. Or we overpay on free agency salary (which has an opportunity cost in salary cap you might want to spend elsewhere down the line).

    Sometimes it is necessary to fill a need. But if our entire strategy for building defense is trading/FA we’re going to end up with an overpaid D core and understrength forward pack. Great teams develop defense in house. If we land Demers and sign a lesser name Offensive RHD to develop DeAngelo or Severson we’re in a much stronger position than giving away all the crown jewels for a fantasy list of Dmen.

  70. Ryan says:

    theDjdj:
    Ryan,

    That’s my point really. That constant injuries are not indicative of a trend unless:

    the player is constantly reinjuring the same ailment or,

    the player has a playing style that throws caution to the wind resulting in constant injuries

    I know us hockey fans are superstitious lot but thinking a player is cursed with bad luck is a bit 16th century

    Yes, but the unfortunate reality is that superstition and math converge in this case.

    I can’t recall where I read the article, but someone had written a detailed analysis of factors predicting how many games a player will play in the subsequent season.

    The most useful predictor was how many games they played in the preceding seasons along with some age component iirc.

    15-16: 30
    14-15: 69 (AHL included)
    13-14: 65 (AHL included)

    I can’t decipher his SEL injury status, but he only played 11 games in his last SEL season and 33 prior.

    Borodin is a good contrast. He played 42/49 games in his last two SEL seasons then NHL: 79/71/68.

    Now Klefbomb could play 80 games per season for the next ten years. We don’t know, but so far, That’s not a great dataset.

  71. theDjdj says:

    Ryan,

    I’d like to read that article if you can ever find it. It really defies logic but I’m not one to stand in the face of evidence.

  72. mr sakich says:

    one of the best parts of your projected lineup is how you disappeared Ference. I wish we could have done that last year with Nikitin.

    I like the deals except for Fayne. Bozak’s contributions can easily be found via ufa at a significantly lower cost. If we have the cap space, would it be such a bad thing to have depth at RHD? Maybe even trade Fayne at the deadline for something that will help us in the long term.

  73. Soup Fascist says:

    godot10: St. Louis has more than enough scoring, but Hitchcock makes them play dump and chase rather than letting them do much rush attacking, which suppresses their offense.

    Whereas, Deboer has San Jose playing off the rush more than dump-and-chase like McLellan did.

    Aside:Arguably, the main reason Wilson traded Demers was to force McLellan to play Burns on defense.

    Aside #2:I really want one of Faulk, or Vatanen, or Barrie, so McLellan has no excuse for a poor power play.

    I think the Sharks have done more to disrupt the Blues offensive flow than Hitchcock. I am not saying he is the best coach in the league at adapting on the fly but by the same token he tried to insert some speed last night by sitting two “dump and chasers” in Upshall and the moronic Steve Ott and inserting a two much faster, skilled players – to no avail.

    Right now the Sharks are a much better team. And the Blues are unable to generate any offence. You can put some of that on Hitchcock but at the end of the day their guns are doing SFA to help themselves. What part of the dump and chase game mandates Tarasenko to miss the net by two feet every time, Steen to become the new shin pad assassin, Fabbri to try to toe drag every defender and Brouwer to hit post on every shot attempt?

    In my mind they have relied a lot on their defence to help provide offence all year and that has dried up lately. 27 looks tired. Boumeester looks atrocious and 33 years old, Shattenkirk hasn’t done a ton and the young guys are coming back to earth. Mix in suddenly average goaltending and what I am saying is a lack of natural scoring up front and you have a team that can’t score right now and can’t win right now.

    And that will end up being the eulogy for the demise of the Blues 2015-16 playoff run.

  74. BONE207 says:

    G Money:
    Lowetide,

    Phew.I’m in the middle of setting up my brand new powerhouse ass-hauling statsing machine, and I kept getting mystery errors trying to connect to Lowetide.

    Luckily I was troubleshooting f**king printer and monitor drivers or I would have wasted a ton of time troubleshooting the inability to log in too!

    Speaking of new machines:

    http://i.imgur.com/crfkpHI.png

    Yes, due to its ass hauling nature, the new machine is indeed named Taylor Haul.

    Hey G$…that looks like the specs on my flip phone. ☺ Now for sure you can cure cancer and fix the Oilers at the same time. Sometimes I think you spend too much time on the latter. Good luck

  75. GCW_69 says:

    OF17:
    I know I don’t need to tell you this LT, but that roster looks a lot better with Fayne on it and a pick sent for Bozak. The beauty of Severson is that he should be able to outperform a bottom pair role. I’m not too comfortable slotting him in in a top-4 role.

    He played 2RD last season and did it well by the numbers (see my comment near the end of this thread http://lowetide.ca/2016/05/18/the-oilers-and-the-bcjhl-2/). Why would you not be comfortable?

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